Alaska Fishing Trip #OI-ATF1

Patrick Kissel with a beautiful Alaska Rainbow trout he caught with our Kenai River Fly Fishing Guides

Fishing Trip #OI-ATF1

This premier fly fishing guide is one of the first trout-focused outfitters on the legendary Kenai River in Alaska.

Our Kenai River fly fishing guides are based out of Cooper Landing – a small town on the Upper River surrounded by beautiful mountains. The Kenai River has a well-deserved reputation as one of the finest trout rivers in Alaska. Its glacial blue waters are unlike any other in Alaska, and it flows for roughly 80 miles to Cook Inlet. Despite being along the road system and gaining more pressure than some of the more remote rivers of western Alaska, this river continues to produce some of the largest rainbow trout anywhere in Alaska!

These Kenai River fly fishing guides target big Rainbow trout on the Upper, Refuge, Canyon, and Middle River stretches, as well as walk-and-wade fly fishing on the Russian River and Quartz Creek.

Patrick Kissel with a nice Alaska rainbow
This Kenai River fly fishing guide was one of the first trout fishing guides on the Kenai River.
  • One of the first trout fishing guides on the Kenai River. This outfitting business was started by the legendary Curt Trout in 1984.
  • This is primarily a Rainbow trout fly fishing lodge, but there are also opportunities for sockeye and silver salmon during the right time of the year. (silver fishing may be done with a spin rod).
  • The Kenai River opens for fishing in early June and guided trips are available through October.
  • Our Kenai River fly fishing guides have special operating permits for the Refuge and Canyon sections of the Kenai.
  • Riverside lodging is available.
  • Seasoned guides with top of the line equipment and boats.
  • This outfitter operates a fleet of five drift boats, and two jet boats that are used on the Middle River.
  • Full service fly shop.

Our Kenai River fly fishing guides have been trained on this river through guidance of legendary guide Billy Couillete, who was taught by Curt Trout. The fishing guides will be able to help you if you are a beginner or first time fly fisherman or an advanced angler. Guides are trained in boat and wade fishing safety.

Your daily fishing schedule is dependent on your guide as the start times for each day are set up the night before. If possible I would trust and go with what your Kenai River fly fishing guides want suggest as a start time. If they want to start early or go late there is good reason for it…they are on the river day after day and know what’s best. Of course if you have to be off the water to catch a flight etc they will work with you.

Each year rainbows over the 30″ mark and up to 15lbs are caught, but don’t expect a fish of this size. They are some of the hardest fighting rainbows anywhere! Hooking a mega sized rainbow on the Kenai is one thing but landing it is another!

The Upper Kenai River Consists of Three Sections

Upper, Refuge, and Canyon Stretches of the Upper Kenai River

The Upper Kenai is a fast moving river and offers great trout fishing all season long. These sections will be drifted and fished from a 20′ willies drift boat. Your Kenai River fly fishing guides will row you down the river and fish you in productive spots. Most of the fishing is done from the boat but wade fishing is also an option in some areas. The fishing is mostly indicator fishing flesh or egg patterns. Certain times of the year offer great streamer fishing where stripping a streamer or letting the fly swing into the zone is effective. The Upper Kenai sometimes even offers the opportunity to catch a trout on a dry fly!

A slab of a rainbow trout caught with our Kenai River fly fishing guides.

The Middle Kenai River

The Middle River is open to motors and fished from one of two power boats or can be drifted with a drift boat and kicker on the back. This section of river is best fished with a streamer in June or an indicator with a flesh fly. The fall time from late August through October on this section is the most productive fishing for over sized trout. Resident trout and trout from Skilak Lake move into areas where salmon are spawning and put the feed on. Indicator fishing with long leaders and beads or flesh is the ticket.

The Russian River and Quartz Creek

The Russian River and Quartz Creek are great walk and wade fisheries. The Russian can be a great dry fly fishery for trout and dolly varden also move up the river in the fall to feed on salmon eggs. Quartz Creek is lights out in mid august for dolly varden and a few big trout are around as well as they move in to feed on sockeye salmon eggs.

Drift boat and walk-and-wade fishing on the Kenai River is outstanding!

Lodging and Accommodations

Lodging is available but very limited and books full each year. There are 3 riverside cabins nestled along the banks of the upper Kenai.

  • Cabins can hold 2-3 anglers. They are rustic and clean with hot showers and a kitchenette and grill.
  • The Swan Sanctuary offers 4-5 anglers and a full kitchen.
  • All guests can enjoy the community outside fire and dock.
  • *Lodging must be booked a minimum of 2 nights
  • Local Restaurants with excellent dining and entertainment.

Travel Information

You’ll travel to our Kenai River fly fishing guides lodge in Cooper Landing, Alaska.

The drive is easy, and it’s one of the most beautiful drives you’ll ever be on. From Anchorage you will rent a car and head south on the Seward highway, you will then take the cut off onto the Sterling highway toward Cooper Landing and Soldotna. Travel time from Anchorage airport and Cooper landing is about two hours and 15 minutes.

There are a couple restaurants and convenience stores in Cooper Landing to accommodate breakfast, day trip lunches, and dinner. Some of the restaurants offer live music and a great vibe for after fishing refreshments. If you want groceries there is a small store in town or you can gather them in Anchorage.

Photos From This Fishing Trip

Dates and Pricing

Interested in booking this trip? If you have not yet received pricing please request it here, and be sure to reference the trip number at the top of this page. Please note that reservations are not considered finalized until agreed upon deposit is received. This ensures agreed upon dates and current pricing. Quality outfitters are in high demand so let us know right away, as some trips do book years in advance.

A Trip with our Kenai River Fly Fishing Guides Include:

  • Full day of guided fishing by an expert guide.
  • All rods, reels, tackle and flies if needed.
  • Transportation from the lodge/fly shop to the river.
  • Wader rental available for $10 the day(s) of your trip.

Not Included:

  • Trip Insurance
  • Lunch
  • Transportation to the lodge/fly
  • Lodging
  • Meals and drinks
  • License (available at the shop)
  • Gratuities

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